The selfishness we’re witnessing in Albany right now has to stop.
You know I’ve written in this column many times that New York State has made real progress these last three years. Things are far better than they used to be simply because Republicans and Democrats alike are finally working together. Despite the accompanying noise, there’s really no magic formula. Legislators with common sense have finally realized that you can’t always get everything you want and that most times, the reasonable middle ground also happens to advance the people’s agenda very nicely.
But I’m not “feeling the love” lately.
Admittedly, I do not have a green thumb. If our home is verdant it’s entirely by my wife’s efforts but I do recall once reading some gardening advice that seemed useful: you can’t get rid of weeds by simply pulling them out. You must plant something in their place to prevent their return.
I think of that advice when I hear people complain about some politicians. I believe “disgusted” is their term of choice, and certainly the media has uncovered plenty of unsavory behavior for us to be disgusted about. Still, I’m bothered by that cynicism because I know firsthand that most elected officials are honest and good people who take their public service as a point of pride. Nonetheless, I certainly understand where that cynicism stems from, especially when you read the sordid affairs smeared on the pages of New York’s newspapers these days.
This summer marks a milestone for success in the fight against heart disease. It has been 10 years since you have been asked “smoking or non?” in New York restaurants and bars.
The Clean Indoor Air Act established smoke-free workplaces. The CIAA has been helping protect New Yorkers from the dangers of secondhand smoke for a decade. Experts estimate secondhand smoke causes up 128,900 heart attacks annually. Studies around the world show heart attack rates drop immediately following the enactment of laws like the CIAA. By keeping smoke out of workplaces, we are making positive steps in the fight against our number one killer — heart disease.
I recently read the article, “Where to Find Horseback Riding on Long Island,” in the July 3 - July 9 issue. I wanted to let you know that LIU Post in Brookville has the North Shore Equestrian Center, one of the oldest facilities of its kind on Long Island. The equestrian center is open to both students and any L.I. resident who wants take horseback riding lessons. LIU Post also has a student equestrian team. You can find more information on the North Shore Equestrian Center at www.northshoreequestriancenter.com
For the past 92 years, the Hicksville Water District has been providing top-quality service to residents and works hard to ensure absolute customer satisfaction. The district’s history parallels the growth and development of Long Island and the rise of public water suppliers in Nassau County. The Hicksville Water District has had a trajectory of dedicated local residents leading the organization to ensure optimized usage of Hicksville’s water resource.
“We are very proud to have our own local water source to serve our community,” said Hicksville Historical Society President Mike Christodoulou. “From an economic standpoint, having our own water, rather than importing it from upstate New York, allows us to have more control of our water quality.”
We’ve worked hard in the past to protect and preserve our community, and now we need to do it again. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, a referendum will be held on the Town of Oyster Bay’s proposed sale of its public works complex on the Long Island Expressway Service Road. This sale would bring in over $32 million to the town while protecting the suburban open space we so dearly cherish.
Unfortunately, the Taubman Company, which has been trying for 17 years to shove a mega-mall down our throats, is once again reaching into their deep pockets and trying to stop the sale. That’s why we need everyone to come out and vote YES, in favor of the sale on Aug. 20.
How often does a municipality get to generate $32.5 million in unanticipated revenue? Not often in today’s tight economic times. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening in the Town of Oyster Bay. Town officials have put together a deal with a responsible development firm whereby the town would sell surplus public works property in Syosset for $32.5 million. In return, the firm pledges to support smart alternative development while ensuring community input and embracing environmentally friendly planning.
It all sounds good, yet a greedy developer who has been trying to build a mega-mall in the area for 17 years is trying to generate phony opposition to the plan. Woodbury/Syosset area residents have stood strong and tall against the mega-mall for years. Now it’s’ time for residents from throughout the town to join them.
The sale is the subject of a referendum on Tuesday, Aug. 20. I hope everyone, no matter where they may live, will get out and vote YES for the land sale. Let’s approve the deal while putting the mega-mall plan out of its misery.
Many dog owners are completely unaware of the impact of not picking up after their pet. Some common misconceptions from pet owners are: It’s completely natural and leaving it on the ground to decompose is fine if it’s left where someone can’t step in it.
According to the EPA, pet waste is 57% more toxic than human waste, and in 1991 it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals. The EPA also estimates that in two or three days, 100 dogs can produce enough bacteria to close a small bay with a 20 square mile watershed to swimming and fishing. Dog feces contain high concentrations of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and pathogens (bacteria, viruses, worms and parasites) that can cause serious illness in humans and pets. Dog feces can take up to a year to break down in the environment. Some fecal bacteria can even become airborne. The deposit site can become toxic to both dogs and people. Some pathogens can survive for years; for instance, roundworms and Giardia survive up to four years, E. coli can live up to four months, and salmonella up to six months.
I prefer thinking positive thoughts. But not everyone has the same mental habits. There are some folks who just love thinking through the absolute worst-case scenarios. What if the LIE shuts down and I can’t get home? What if Long Island beaches became infested with sharks and all are closed for the summer? What if the Mets never get their act together?
Those are all pretty crazy, right?
But now it’s worth taking a look at a possibility that seems just as crazy if it were to happen – that the House of Representatives doesn’t pass immigration reform, and our federal system stays broken.
Earlier this month Comptroller George Maragos mislead the public during his announcement of the county’s 2012 year-end financial results. Publicly releasing the County’s year-end fiscal results is one of the primary responsibilities of the Comptroller and typically occurs in February or early March. Every year Maragos has been in office he has delayed the release – this year pushing it to June – in effect creating his own timeline. This raises serious doubts about the County’s financial condition and represents an abdication of responsibility by the Comptroller. It is my firm belief that Maragos’ announcement of the year-end financial results is a work of fiction.
It is the Comptroller’s job to issue honest, timely, and accurate financial reports rooted in reality, not to play the role of fiscal Houdini by fudging the numbers to hide a deficit. The rating agencies aren’t buying these misleading statements, and just this month Fitch downgraded Nassau County’s bond status given the poor state of the county’s fiscal health.
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